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community-wide resource to benefit all and we attempt to be very generous in our usage of the theater as a resource.” In a town with a population of just over 2,000, the theater continues to be a prosperous business despite the competition of online movies. Some movies attract a full house—roughly one-tenth of the town’s population. Ticket prices and concessions are far lower than most other theaters. According to Christy, the theater renovation has brought in tax revenue close to a million dollars in construction work. There is also tax revenue on maintenance and repairs, and secondary economic activity such as the local purchasing of theater supplies. There are currently eight people employed. “We attempt to ensure young people have an opportunity to work at the theater because we believe someday it will be a young person returning

hand. I know this same experience is treasured by other families and their children in this community,” Christy says. “Attending the Luna Theater is an experience which retains that magical ambiance from the golden era of movie palace entertainment. It is not just entertainment, certainly far removed from the vapid entertainment our larger culture is so steeped in, but a cultural pillar of our community.”

lea theatre in lovington According to Salcido, in 2013 the Lea Theatre was for sale. Lovington MainStreet, knowing the theater’s cultural importance in the community, seized the opportunity to save and restore the historic icon. Through the Lovington Economic Development Corporation, the City of Lovington, and the Local Economic Development Act, funds were acquired

State-of-the-art digital projection and audio equipment were installed June 2015 in the Lea Theatre located in Lovington. Photo courtesy of Lea Theatre. to the community, with fond memories from their youth at the Luna Theater, who will take over the theater for the next generation,” Christy says. “I am a parent and my children are growing up in this peaceful small town far removed from the chaos of the world. Part of that peaceful childhood is the ability to go to the small, comfortable local theater to see movies. Already my toddlers hold great excitement at the special occasion of attending a movie at the Luna Theater, bag of popcorn in

for the purchase of the Lea Theatre in 2014. Lovington MainStreet helped in developing the Lea Community Foundation for the Arts to take the project on. In September of 2014, the one-screen theater was chosen as a recipient of a grant from the NMHTI. Those funds were used to help purchase state-of-the-art digital projection and audio equipment, which was installed in June of 2015. The theater, which shows first-run movies from all genres, is owned and operated by the City of Lovington;

Eight classic theaters to visit anytime of the year. 1. The Flickinger Theater for Performing Arts in Alamogordo 2. The Luna Theater in Clayton 3. The Lyceum Theater in Clovis 4. The El Morro Theater in Gallup 5. The Lea Theatre in Lovington 6. The Shuler Theater in Raton 7. The Silco Theater in Silver City 8. The Odeon Theater in Tucumcari and receives electric service from Lea County Electric Cooperative headquartered in Lovington. Rosie Insilan, manager of marketing and member services at the co-op, recollects when her children were young they “enjoyed the movies in the classic seating, especially the animated shows. Since then, the theater has had some renovations. The sound system is state-of-the-art and the seating is updated. We have always enjoyed our local theater and try to support it locally as much as possible.” “Having the Lea Theatre open means more than just watching a movie,” Salcido says. “It has created six part-time positions and one full-time position. “Small towns are the heartbeat of America; our resilient communities are hard-working and selfsufficient. I love working with our business owners and hearing their dreams and aspirations.” Salcido says keeping the theater alive adds to the town’s ambiance because “there is nothing like dancing on Main to live music with the smell of barbecue in the air and a cool breeze—and seeing all the volunteers who get together to make these events happen. Not only has the Lea Theatre directly impacted economic development, but has increased the entertainment options for our citizens which has improved the quality of life.” Round up the family, get movie tickets, popcorn, and enjoy a movie at any of these classic theaters. • May 2019


Profile for New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperative

CVEC May 2019 enchantment  

CVEC May 2019 enchantment